“Bono always wanted me to play that part with a pick, but I get a different reaction from playing bass with my fingers. There’s nothing quite like that contact of pulling the wires”: Adam Clayton on the U2 sound

Adam Clayton and Bono of U2 perform during "The Joshua Tree Tour 2017" at MetLife Stadium on June 29, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With an engaging frontman, one of the world's most innovative guitarists, and a solid drummer, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to play bass guitar in U2: play eighth-notes and hold on for the ride. But there is a deeper story behind the exacting precision in Adam Clayton's style.

When Edge departs mid-song to explore new ethereal melodic worlds, it's Clayton who takes the helm and steers the songs through their changes. And when there's space to fill between Bono's lilting lyrical phrases, Clayton's clever countermelodies answer the call. Whatever the tune, Clayton is there with the perfect bassline and the perfect tone.

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